The Queen of My Self

The Queen of My Self

The Spirit of a Woman

posted by Donna Henes

There is a wonderful new anthology that I would like to share with you. The Spirit of a Woman: Stories to Empower and Inspire is the vision of Terry Lázló-Gopadze, who edited the volume. She collected remarkable true tales from remarkable women, one of whom, I am proud to say, is me.

These stories all describe pivotal times in their lives when they were called to rise to a difficult occasion, and do so with courage, high minded spirit and aplomb. Stories of illness, stories of war, stories of trauma, tales of terror. Stories of healing, of forgiveness, stories of forbearance, stories of grace and goodwill.

These women are all, with the exception of one, of a certain age. And they are all, every last one, exemplary Queens. They are rulers of them Selves, their principles, their compassion, their forthrightness, their dignity, their creativity.

Angeles Arrien writes in her forward to the anthology:

Even though these simple stories seem to be very diverse, every story within this anthology has a special and consistent quality of conviction, love, care, faith, wit, resourcefulness and humility. Without a doubt this is the best collection of stories to date that honors and illustrates the power and beauty and integrity of the feminine principle that resides in each human being.

…Demonstrates the power of the feminine principle in action, and shows us how it can, how it does, change the world. It is impossible to read these stories without having your estimation of the human spirit rise, and to experience the deep living feminine principle globally residing in Mother Earth, in aqua femina — the deep waters and oceans that embrace Mother Earth  — and in our own natures at this time in history. What committed actions wil you take to foster the feminine principle within your own nature and in the world as a result of reading these exceptional stories.

Gift your Self with this book.

And if you are in New York City, Do join Terry Lázló-Gopadze, Suni Paz and me for a wonderful evening of words and music.

Thursday, October 14, 6:30 PM


Quest Books
240 East 53rd Street
New York, NY
For information:
Complimentary wine and snacks.

The Queen welcomes questions concerning all issues of interest to women in their mature years. Send your inquiries to

The Back Story

posted by Donna Henes

It is coming up on six years since the publication of The Queen of My Self. This anniversary has sparked introspection, provoked evaluation and evoked some amazing memories.

Seizing My Sovereignty Back From Hostile Captors

I was, of course, thrilled when The Queen was sold to a prestigious publisher with an advance that would allow me to write full time for several months without worrying about the rent. The best part was that they committed to a vigorous promotion plan — rare in publishing even back then.

My deadline was brutally tight, but necessary in order to have a big launch on Mother’s Day as they had planned. I handed in the completed manuscript exactly on time. And then waited for six weeks with no word whatsoever.

Something was wrong. They could never keep to the schedule at this rate. Finally I received a twelve page, single-spaced, eight point type letter critiquing the book. Not the writing so much as the premise, the title even. “‘The Queen of my Self.’ Isn’t that selfish?”

Uh oh.

This was odd and extremely frustrating since they bought the book based on a detailed outline and a full chapter synopsis, title and all, which they loved. And I delivered them precisely what I had contacted to.  

The criticism was contradictory: on the one hand the rituals I described were too personal, too spiritual. And on the other hand, my private life wasn’t personal enough. What are the names and stories of my lovers and my son? Basically, they wanted me to be identified by my relations to the men in my life. Please! A Queen is Her Own Self.

My editor was a man, not yet 40. He was palpably threatened by the concept of the midlife Queen. He finally said, “I just can’t relate to this book.” Duh! No kidding. But since when do you need to have diabetes to publish a book about diabetes?

It was clear that there would be no support for The Queen whatsoever. I could not just sit back and let it die on the vine. Besides, how could I deign to write a book about empowerment if I let that little twerp stand on my neck?

The Queen takes charge. She steps up to the situations of Her life
and takes back the reins of Her power.

So after much research and soul searching, I paid back the advance and bought back my rights. My first three books spanned the spectrum of publishers: one with Astro Artz, an obscure, now-defunct California house; one with Avalon, a distinguished mid-level consortium; and one with Putnam, a huge publisher with many imprints. My experience with them all led me to believe that I could not do worse!

No sooner did I make the terrifying decision to establish a publishing company and publish the book myself, than I received an amazing affirmation of the correctness of my decision. On my way home from filing the registration papers for Monarch Press, I stopped at the post office. There in my box was a handwritten blurb for the cover of The Queen of My Self sent in completely unsolicited by Dr. Christiane Northrup:

Finally, an archetype of midlife power and maturity that I can relate to — The Queen. Thank you Donna for providing this much-needed missing piece of women’s wisdom.

So, with my partner Daile Kaplan I founded Monarch Press and assembled a Dream Queen Team. Daile generously shared her resources and business acumen and came up the name, Monarch Press. Deirdre Mullane, my literary agent, supplied twenty-five years of publishing experience and know how as well as brilliant editing. Patricia Smith created the gorgeous, elegant book design and branding logo, as well as the template for The Queen’s Chronicles. Janet Fish designed the website and keeps it running. Janice Pemberton and Sarah Reynolds took on the administration and distribution.

Together we made a book that has won a very wide audience, critical acclaim and awards and bestseller status. But most important, we operated out of our ideals and we learned invaluable lessons in the process. We were all empowered in our personal lives in one way or another by having chosen to do what we believed in.

The Queen chooses always to involve Herself fully in the process of Her life
and living, and to actively direct the drama of Her own myth

Now nearly six years, thirty-one issues of The Queen’s Chronicles, one hundred and two blogs, hundreds of gatherings and countless letters and emails later, I can see the rewards of my determination to take the Queen to the women, at whatever cost — You! You are the reward. You all. Us. You and me together, mature wise women changing the world from the inside out.

Knowing through Her personal experience what is true and valuable,
and having learned, usually the hard way, to be proactive, She pledges
Her royal Self to defend and promote all that is precious.

The Queen welcomes questions concerning all issues of interest to women in their mature years. Send your inquiries to


Thank you!

posted by Donna Henes

Yesterday I received so many emails from Queens across the country requesting a book. I am sorry that I had to stop with five giveaway books.

Congratulations to the five lucky winners:

Mari Aubuchon, KS
Robin-elyse Holcombe, CA
Stacy Lundquist, NV
Debbie Stricker, VA
Michelle Wood-Capolino, AL

If you wanted a book and didn’t get one, do keep your eyes peeled here for future offers.

Please keep those emails coming. I love receiving them. When I hear from you, you are no longer silent, invisible entities out there somewhere in the great beyond. The mystery gals I write to. You are real! And you live all over the place. We are everywhere!

We really are everywhere. We have woven a wonderful web of witchy wise women across the country and beyond!

What might we see, how might we act, if we saw with a webbed vision?
The world seen through a web of relationships…as delicate as spider’s
silk, yet strong enough to hang a bridge on.
- Catherine Keller

From A Broken Web

This cyber network of ours has evolved organically from The Queen of My Self book, from The Queen of My Self workshops, from The Queen of My Self Facebook page, from this Queen of My Self blog on Beliefnet. 

I am so thankful for this connection and the promise of a new and better future that it holds.

Thank you to everyone who bought books. And thanks to those who have been ordering The Queen of My Self through and from and And thanks to you who have bought them at your local bookstores and made order requests to stores that did not carry them.

Thank you to everyone who invited me to bring the Queen experience to her community. Thank you to the bookstores, healing centers, yoga studios, spas and conferences that have been and continue to be generous hosts and sponsors.

Thank you so much to all of you who networked the workshops and other events. Many women showed up because someone who they knew in Louisiana or California or New Jersey sent them the information and urged them to attend.

Thank you to everyone who came to participate in the presentations and workshops. Thank you so much for sharing your stories with such honesty, vulnerability and inspiring strength. Not to mention great good humor.

Thank you to all of you who crowned yourselves with your own presence, passion, purpose and power. You all make fabulous additions to the rapidly expanding Court of Queens and I look forward to our continued connection and interaction at future Royal Engagements.

Thank you to the subscribers of The Queen’s Chronicles and to those who follow the Facebook Queen of My Self fan page, both great communities of sensational women.

Thank you the to angel donor Queens, who help to support all of these projects.

Thank you to all you bold, confident, beautiful and authentic members of our awesome Cyber Court of Kickass Queens!

It’s almost impossible for people to change alone. We need to join with others who will push us in our thinking and challenge us to do things we didn’t believe ourselves capable of.
- Frances Moore Lappe

The Queen welcomes questions concerning all issues of interest to women in their mature years. Send your inquiries to

The Queen’s Court

posted by Donna Henes

Look below for The Queen of My Self book giveaway offer.*

For more than five years I have been traveling with The Queen of My Self through nineteen states and three countries, meeting and talking with several thousand women and crowning hundreds of Queens.

Everywhere I went, I met fascinating, marvelous, women of a certain age. Every venue where I spoke was run by capable and engaging women in midlife. Every antique mall that I browsed through was staffed with middle-aged women. Every diner and family restaurant, too. The women who attended my workshops were incredible in their openness and readiness to embrace change. And every single one of them had a story to tell about how she is growing into her personal sovereignty and becoming the Queen of Her Self.

The sad part of these travels was meeting and then leaving so many fabulous women who I would have liked to get to know better and to associate with on a regular basis. Ironically, this was the best part, too. Each time that I left a place, I knew that it was in good hands, that I had one less place that I had to worry about. I knew that the Queens who live there would be taking care of business. This makes me feel so much safer in the world. We are everywhere and we are absolutely amazing.

Somewhere, on some highway, I had the idea to create a cyber Queen’s Court. A virtual place where all the Queens can gather and share inspiration and encouragement with each other. Where we can find information and news to spur us on in our growing power. Where we can keep our intimate connection alive. With each workshop, this dream grew and expanded.

The Queen’s Chronicles, my monthly Ezine that picks up where the book left off, was the beginning of what is now a wide-spread vibrant community of mature women who are the Queens of our own domains. The Queen of My Self Page on FB and this Beliefnet blog are also chapters of The Queen’s Court. And new plans are underway for even more ways that we will be able to connect in the near future.

This Cyber Court of Kickass Queens is a virtual gathering of sovereign women of a certain age — our dear peers — who graciously offer guidance, inspiration and encouragement to each other.

We Queens know what we know. And we know a great deal. Our experience has made us wise. So, feel free to consult with our cyber-counsel when you are in need of sage advice or wish to explore a particular topic of interest.

We don’t accomplish anything in this world alone…and whatever happens is the result of the whole tapestry of one’s life and all the weavings of individual threads from one to another that creates something.
-Sandra Day O’Conner


*Happy Anniversary!

This is the 100th Queen of My Self blog on Beliefnet!

It is my hope that these articles have been enlightening, inspiring and encouraging as you follow your path to personal sovereignty.

In honor of this auspicious occasion, I will be giving away five signed copies of my book, The Queen of My Self, to the first five women who contact me at today and request one.

It is as simple as that! Just send me an email before midnight tonight and ask me for a book! Of course your feedback, ideas, thoughts and suggestions are, as always welcome, as are your comments on these pages.

Best regal blessings to Queens everywhere.

xxQueen Mama Donna

The Queen welcomes questions concerning all issues of interest to women in their mature years. Send your inquiries to

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